Gathright Dam & Lake Moomaw, VA
Oct. 30, 2008

Located about 19 miles North of Covington, VA

Named after Thomas M. Gathright, Sr. and Benjamin C. Moomaw, Jr, who championed the cause for construction of a water-control project on the Jackson River to protect Covington and other downriver communities from flooding.

A visitors center, operated by the Corps of Engineers, is located at the Gathright Dam, offering facilities for visitor information and convenience.

A turbine and generator at this intake tower controls the flow of the water through the dam. If you enlarge pic, notice the full size pickup truck at the top of the ramp at the tower! Gives you an idea of it's huge size.

The lake is 150 ft deep here. The project became fully operational in April 1982, when filling of the reservoir was complete. It took a year and a half to completely fill the lake!

Picture I from the top of the dam. No parking up there. We went down by the river which is heavily shaded by the setting sun behind the large mountains.

This is the dam! It is rock fill earth construction. The core is earth. The foundation is rock. Its height is 257 feet with a length of 1208 feet.
You drive across the top of it to an access road that leads down here.

The walls lead back to the tunnel through the mountain where water flows to the river during a release. A warning sign reads, "DANGER. Water subject to sudden rise and turbulence. When horn sounds, proceed immediately to shore."

John close to the water. Since I'd already fallen off a big rock I climbed on to take a picture, and was feeling a bit dizzy from hitting my head and scraping my back, I thought it best not to chance a fall into the water next and stayed back :)

I love how the setting sun will throw a beautiful copper glow across the water of the Jackson River.

Driving through the park, we came across a swinging bridge! I love them!

Me in the middle of the bridge. We had to take turns walking a few feet each because both of us walking at the same time created too much bounce and sway!

View from the other side looking back towards my car parked at the bridge.

As an Army Corps of Engineers impoundment, the land surrounding the lake is almost solid woods and meadows, with occasional boat ramps, swimming areas, and picnic areas. Look at those beautiful mountains! I love the kind of mountain terrain we have down here!

The lake is 12 miles long!
(one of John's pics)

There's John back on the no longer floating dock.
Seeing him there gives you an idea of how large the area is!

These are artificial reefs for the fish when the lake is raised. Like most flood control reservoirs, starting in June, Lake Moomaw is lowered between 10-15 feet annually. Generally, it reaches its lowest level in September. (another of John's pics)

A fishing dock left high and dry for the winter.

More than 120 miles of secluded and sparsely traveled hiking and biking trails
offer long blue Allegheny Mountain vistas, access to unusual blowing springs, and views of high elevation cranberry bogs.

John hiking up hill from the water's edge. It was a beautiful, cool day and with the colors still visible in the forests we really enjoyed this day out!

A beach area. At first I thought these were pumpkins on the beach! What a beautiful beach area and gorgeous mountains. I've lived down here for going on 17 yrs now and I never tire of the beauty of these mountains!

As a result of the dam, the area now offers outdoor recreation galore, from boating on Lake Moomaw to fishing in the premier trout waters of the Jackson River. There's also camping here which we will look into come spring!

Does anyone have any idea what these are? They are puffs like the dandelions but they are growing off of a climbing vine weaving it's way through the bushes. We only saw it at this one location.

Closer view. The "fuzz" could be plucked off just like you would with a dandelion, leaving seeds at the end of their white fuzzy stalks. Sure would like to know what they are.

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